It’s Not Always Smooth Sailing in Celebrity Workplaces

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It’s Not Always Smooth Sailing in Celebrity Workplaces

Don’t be fooled by the glitz and glamour! Even celebrities are not exempt from the rules and regulations that govern regular workplaces.

Conflict is a fact of life whether we’re talking about princes or paupers, and sometimes management needs to step in and organise an independent workplace investigation.

If you thought the entertainment industry was immune to workplace drama, read on! It’s not always smooth sailing in celebrity workplaces.

1 – Ellen DeGeneres

 Despite the daytime television host’s famous on-screen slogan, “Be kind to one another”, in 2020 Ellen DeGeneres faced allegations of fostering a toxic work environment on her show.

Cast, crew, and even guests came forward sharing alleged accounts of harassment, intimidation, and racial discrimination, with producers forced to take action and conduct an independent workplace review through a third-party consultant.

Three executives left the show following the investigation, and then – after two decades on-air as the undisputed queen of daytime TV, in 2021 Ellen announced the show would cease production.

Just one example highlighting the necessity for even the most esteemed TV productions to be held accountable.

2 – Kevin Spacey

In 2017, Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple current and former employees of the Netflix drama, ‘House of Cards.’ Further employees revealed his behaviour had created a toxic work environment on set.

At the time, Spacey was not only a lead actor on the show but also an executive producer. However, his authority did not get in the way of these serious accusations being investigated, and he was promptly fired – sending a clear message that everyone, regardless of their status, is subject to the same rules and standards.

The scandal also resulted in him being booted from the film, ‘All the Money in the World’, with actor Christopher Plummer being recast in his role. A whopping 22 scenes featuring Spacey had to be reshot across eight days to make the film’s deadline!

3 – Dick and Angel from TV’s ‘Escape to the Chateau’

In May 2023, the UK’s Channel 4 officially cut ties with Dick and Angel Strawbridge from ‘Escape to the Chateau’ following an independent HR investigation into their conduct. While the exact nature of the claims is unclear, it has been suggested they’d been clashing with producers for a while.

The outcome of the investigation, which included interviewing producers and crew members, led to the production company behind the series, Two Rivers, announcing they will no longer work with the pair on this show, or any future productions.

As you can see, celebs – just like all of us – are bound by the laws and ethical standards that govern professional conduct. This includes appropriate workplace behaviour, respect for colleagues, and the honouring of contractual obligations.

By conducting thorough HR investigations, the industry not only protects its employees but also sets a public precedent for ethical behaviour and professionalism. This, ultimately, contributes to a healthier, safer, and more respectful work environment for all involved.

Featured photo by Juliana Malta on Unsplash

Janet Camilleri is an Australian copywriter and blogger. No matter what she writes, or who she is writing for, Janet aims to amuse, inspire or inform – and sometimes, all three!

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